Can you hear that ringing sound?
It's the buzz of POS sales systems and clicking of online shopping carts and checkout buttons everywhere.
It might also be the noise in your ears as you are buried deep in holiday shopping seasonal plans, paperwork and customer support.
Your work-life balance looks more like work-work sleep (or lack thereof) these days. The countdown to vacation serenity is on!
Before you can relax, you need to review how your seasonal promotions and sales are doing and make projections, plans and course corrections for the year-end and into 2017.
You likely turn to your web analytics data to help you develop strategies and do the calculations. But did you know that Shopify Plus has recently released a slew of new merchant reports that can be used separately or in tandem with your other tools?
Let’s take a look at what these reports are, and how they can help you to be more strategic and successful in the year ahead.
Reports Every Plus Merchant Should be Using
We know you’ve only got so much time on your hands. So, we’ve narrowed down some of the key reports that internal Shopify Plus merchant education team and success managers use when advising clients.
You can access the reports section via the left-hand nav bar of your Shopify Plus admin when you log in.
Kaitlyn McCullough, Merchant Education Project Coordinator at Shopify Plus recommends all merchants take a look at the “Online Store Dashboard”, “Insights”, and “Sales by Month” reports.
11. Online Store Dashboard
This report gives you a “holistic view of your products and conversion funnel, which can be used in conjunction with your Google Analytics data,” she says.
It also gives you a quick snapshot of your traffic and sales. At a minimum, it’s important to look at this dashboard on a regular basis.
10. Insights - Web Cart Analysis
McCullough explains that the “Web Cart Analysis” report within Insights can help you identify different products bought in correlation with each other. For example, if you sell gourmet ketchup online, your most popular item may also often be bought with another specialty product on your site (e.g. 63% of the time ketchup and BBQ sauce are purchased together).
“Although the data can be somewhat skewed by current discounts or new releases, identifying these trends can help you determine whether to offer special bundles/offers to sell both products together,” she says.
It’s important to note that these reports run on a rolling 30-day basis. So, you should check this one every month to note trends in seasonality, switch up special promotions and more.
9. Sales Reports
Shopify Plus “Sales Reports” are now more robust and informative because they include sales plus product details. For example, you can look at the “Sales by Month” report to see product types, plus the orders that have been placed on a particular day, week, or month.
In addition, McCullough says you have access to sales information based on campaigns that you’ve run, a specific billing country, customer details and more.
Anthony Kentris, Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus also likes to highlight these other sales reports to his clients:
8. Sales by Channel
“This helps you see what sales channels contribute the most to revenue,” explains Kentris. He recommends going to the Sales Channels settings page in your admin to add any sales channels that aren’t yet enabled in the report -- so you can track everything in one place.
If you see an “other” field here, Kentris says it can represent a host of things, like draft orders, orders via the API, or recurring orders from an app. You can drill down via the link to see exactly what goes into that category.
7. Sales by Billing Country
By viewing this report, you’ll learn what countries contribute the most to revenue. Kentris says this information is helpful when deciding on new markets in which to expand. You can also drill down into a country to see what province or state performs best to target ads.
6. Sales by Traffic
Similar to sales by channel, the data in this report “helps you understand from a high level what traffic sources are contributing most to revenue,” says Kentris.
You can determine many findings from this report, such as if your brand recognition is high (e.g. if a lot of your traffic is direct), or if your SEO is working (e.g. if your search engine referral traffic is doing well or not).
5. Sales by Product Name
Finally, this report will help you identify your best selling products by season or time period and could be used in correlation with the Insights report we mentioned earlier -- to offer special product discounts or promotions.
Just like other Analytics tools, you can add or remove different metrics (e.g. average order value, order quantity or return quantity), dimensions and filters (e.g. payment or fulfillment status, order ID, and sale kind) to all of these reports.
You can also select a certain date range (e.g. daily, 7 days, monthly, 90 days and YTD) as far back as your account started. Basically, you can customize reports to whatever you want to track.
In addition, you can export the file as a spreadsheet, or print the page for accounting purposes.
Finally, you can save them as a custom report that will be dynamically generated based on the date you access it. Be sure to set it to a dynamic range so that it automatically updates whenever you check the report.
Underutilized Reports & Metrics to Check Out
In addition to frequently looking at the reports described above, we’ve put together a few hidden treasures that can help you improve your online store’s performance.
4. Visitors by Device > Checkouts Metric
Not only does this report identify what percentage of your visits come from desktop, mobile, or tablet but there is also an important metric that can be very telling about your UX.
“The key is to add the ‘Checkouts’ metric, and you can see what each viewport contributes to overall checkouts,” says Kentris. “From there, you can learn whether your customer experience is good on mobile.”
When looking at the screenshot above, Kentris says it’s interesting to note that 59% of the sessions come from mobile, but they only account for 40% of checkouts. Meanwhile, desktop visitors represent 32% of sessions, but accounted for 52% of checkouts.
This may mean that you need to improve the mobile experience. Or, get a better understanding of whether your customers prefer to do research on a mobile device, then checkout on a desktop and why?
3. Top Product Searches
As we have mentioned in previous posts, improving your site search can increase your customer’s likelihood to convert. The “Top Product Searches” report is also useful as it will help you identify what people are searching for the most via your store, then tailor your sales and promotions strategies around those products and queries.
2. Sales by Customer Name
As this post explains, increasing customer brand loyalty can lead to significantly increased average profit per customer. You can use this report to find out who your best customers are so that you can target and tailor your loyalty programs to them.
* The above two examples are specific to each merchant, so we could not provide screenshots.
1. Finance Report
Many Plus merchants don’t know about this new report which is useful for accounting purposes and can be exported to your accounting software.
The Plus team often gets asked to explain how the “total sales” number is calculated on the platform. This report breaks it down for you line by line. See the screenshot above to see what is accounted for in that final number.
Customers can also view this report more granularly and tweak the date range to suit your needs. For instance, you can look at gross sales by order numbers, or by month to date. Plus, you can narrow the data down to specific channels (e.g. POS sales in a province or state).
In addition, you can click on discounts to see where they are coming from for specific orders. Or, click the actual order to see more details.
Now that we’ve examined all of the valuable reports available on the Shopify Plus platform, let’s discuss how to benefit from the data that is revealed when you open them up.
Making the Most of Your Data
Regardless of how often you check your reports, it’s important to remain consistent in what you are evaluating. For example, whenever you look at sales trends, always use gross sales, net sales or total sales so that you can benchmark and monitor the changes over time.
If you are unsure of what to measure, make sure to work with the Shopify Plus merchant success and education teams to set-up a reporting system, plus monitor your store’s performance against KPIs that will help you improve your business.
Finally, there are a few apps you can use to take your existing Shopify Plus data analysis to new heights. Compass, Hits Analytics, and KissMetrics offer advanced features like measuring your performance against peer benchmarks, creating and monitoring customer segments, and measuring your customer lifetime value (CLV).
The reporting section of the Plus platform will continue to grow and evolve as customers’ needs are identified.
Want to see more features in the reports available to Shopify Plus merchants? Please share your comments below or tell your merchant success or education team contacts.